The 2020 substance-abuse policy, subject to approval of new CBA, makes it clear: No player will ever be suspended again for positive drug tests https://t.co/t0lBmTHMUj — ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 5, 2020
Players in the NFL will no longer have to STAY OFF THE WEEEEED, man. Pending the passage of the new player agreement (CBA) NFL athletes will no longer be suspended over substance abuse. This is a huge step forward for the NFL when it comes to their substance abuse policy, not perfect, but better. From the sounds of it ILLEGAL use is prohibited, but not legal use.
“The NFL and the NFLPA prohibit Players from the illegal use, possession, or distribution of drugs, including but not limited to cocaine; marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids; opiates and opioids; methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA); and phencyclidine (PCP). The abuse of prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and alcohol is also prohibited. For example, the use of amphetamines and substances that induce similar effects, absent a verified and legitimate need for appropriate dosages of such substances to treat existing medical conditions, is prohibited.” Policy and Program on Substance of Abuse 2020
This comes directly from the players agreement on the new CBA. I’m no lawyer so I can’t be 100% certain what all this means, and considering most NFL players aren’t lawyers I can guess they don’t as well. Yet it does seem like NFL players will be able to use marijuana as long as it doesn’t lead to substance abuse.
That is a huge deal. Players have gotten suspended left and right for the use of marijuana yet are given prescription opioids for their pain. In the past players turned to prescription anti-inflammatory drugs or over the counter pain medication to handle the aches and pains that comes with being an NFL player. The new CBA opens a whole new door for players to use a plant that is legal in 33 of 50 states for pain medication.
All of this is dependent upon the players voting yes on the entirety of the proposed CBA. Hopefully this part of the CBA is implemented regardless. Under the deal players would still be able to play while in the substance abuse program, but they will not get paid their full paycheck while in the program. I’m all for this if it keeps players from developing a dependency on opioids or amphetamines. Pretty much anything that keeps people from using hard drugs is a good thing in my book.
Does this mean Josh Gordon would be removed from the commissioner’s exempt list? Who knows, but fingers crossed. Gordon was an electric wide receiver and it was sad to watch his career be derailed because his employer didn’t have the proper systems in place to help their employees.